Principals cooperating to assess classroom practice

Paper presented at the International Conference on Thinking 2013 in Wellington, New Zeeland:

There are several systematic ways of collegial learning directed towards teachers. However, there are few assessed methods concerning the principal’s classroom observations, and even fever of principal’s cooperating to develop methods. This paper relates the results from an ongoing study, focusing on principals working together to enhance pedagogical development by assessing teachers’ classroom practice through systematic observation and feedback. The research focuses on finding methods for the intended cooperation. A group of principals met in ten sessions over a year to develop and try out methods for classroom observations and feedback to observed teachers. The group of principals and the researcher gradually worked their way towards integration of practical experience, theoretical ideas, and goal orientation, resembling the methods of learning studies. The switching between the analytical, creative and producing group sessions with peers and supported by a researcher, and the practical testing by observing and giving feedback to teachers, proved to be an effective system to produce working tools that the principals found meaningful. The project altered the way the participating principals perceived observation and feedback as tools for pedagogical development, from being skeptical to seeing it as a vital development tool. The cooperative dialogue seems to have supported the integration of a deeper understanding of what are essential pedagogical qualities. There also seems to have been a fruitful parallel process when the principals met their teachers in feedback.  READ THE PAPER: Principals Cooperating to Assess Classroom Practice SEE SLIDE SHOW: Principals cooperating to Assess, A. S. Pihlgren